A Chef to Chef "fireside chat"
Odds are you know our chef, Humberto and have had his amazing food over the years. Chef Jeff sat down with him last week to give us a little back ground on how and why his love for cooking is so apparent. Enjoy!
Humberto Villalobos has worked at Blue Heron Catering since 1995. He started out as a dishwasher and prep cook and worked his way up quickly to become the Head Chef of the company, a title he still owns.
Humberto has been enamored with food and cooking since he can remember. Growing up in the town of Teocaltiche in Jalisco Mexico, he watched with open eyes and a rumbling belly as his grandfather would cook favorite ancestral cuisine, including items like pozole and mole. A young Humberto heard stories from other locals about travelling to America and working in professional kitchens. He loved the tales of the teamwork of a kitchen brigade and cooking food for anticipating crowds.
Humberto realized that dream when he moved to America and got his first job as a dishwasher at the Townhouse restaurant in Emeryville CA. He was learning how to prep and cook true California cuisine for the guests but when the crew made family meal, the mostly Mexican and Central American cooks would break out their recipes from their home towns creating lavish and delicious buffets. The camaraderie of the restaurant crew made a big impression on Humberto, they would become a second family to him. Anyone who has worked in the restaurant or catering industry for any amount of time realize these relationships were one of the best side benefits of what can sometimes be a harsh profession.
Humberto developed a keen pallet for flavors which is one of the signatures of Blue Heron Catering. Chef Humberto dives deep into his research when investigating a regional or ethnic cuisine he is unfamiliar with. He always delivers a truly authentic culinary experience.
At home these days Humberto loves cooking his favorite foods for his family. These may include Korean style short ribs, a creamy potato gratin and different pasta dishes. Humberto is a big fan of social gatherings where there is ample food and drink and plenty of camaraderie of family and friends. When he is not working diligently in the Blue Heron kitchen, this is where you can find him….with the same broad smile on his face we all love.